The Battle of Fort Fisher, N.C.

Tuesday, April 30, 2013

Confederate Legacy-- Part 2: Goldsboro and Wayne County Supports the War Effort

The next time I'm in Goldsboro, NC, I'll have to check out the Wayne County Public Library which has muster rolls, battle records and regimental histories of Confederate units, including those from the county and town.

The best-known company from the area is the Goldsboro Rifles.  Others were the Saulston Volunteers, Goldsboro Volunteers, Goldsborough Rifles and the Goldsboro Guards.  They all saw a lot of action in various places throughout the war.

However, the Goldsborough Rifles may have been referring to the Goldsboro Rifles as the town's name was spelled both ways back then.

In addition, not every man who served from the area was in one of the listed units.  Many were assigned to other units when they enlisted.

Service to Their Country.  --Old Secesh

Monday, April 29, 2013

Confederate Legacy-- Part 1

From the February 28, 2013, Goldsboro (NC) News Argus.

In these times of constant attack on any and everything even remotely Confederate because of slavery, it is a breath of fresh air to see the men who wore the gray become a little more multi-dimensional as opposed to just fighting to keep blacks oppressed in slavery.  I've seen it written that 75% of the people of the South did not even own a slave and that most who did only had one or two.  The huge plantations represented, at best, maybe 5%.

I will just quote the first part of the article.

"History will remember them as men who died for a losing cause, but to their kin, Wayne County's Civil War dead will be treasured... always.

They appear to us now as ghosts-- pale figures in faded photos, stiff and solemn.

But they were real men-- with real courage and extraordinary determination.  Men with one common goal-- to fight hard enough to send the United States Army back to the North from which it came and to create a new country where men of like resolve could live without interference.

Their struggle ended on the wrong side of history.

But that misplaced alliance does not tarnish the bravery shown by the men from Wayne County who served under the Confederate flag.  They fought for home as much as any soldiers anywhere ever have."

A Nice Summation of Their Effort.  --Old Secesh

Saturday, April 27, 2013

Camp Butler-- Part 2

In addition to the Confederates buried there, the graves of 776 Union soldiers are nearby.  The camp closed June 1866 after serving as a base for soldiers getting out of the Army.

Among the 19,824 veterans buried at Camp Butler national Cemetery, two notables are

Seaman JOHN H. CATHERWOOD who received a Medal of Honor for His service in the Philippine-American War.

Colonel OTIS B. DUNCAN, the nation's highest-ranking officer during World War I.

Old Secesh

Camp Butler-- Part 1

From Wikipedia.

Located northeast of Springfield and named after Illinois state treasurer William Butler (not Gen. Benjamin Butler as I thought).

The National Cemetery at the site consists of 53 acres and had 19,824 internments at the end of 2005, made the NRHP in 1997.

It started off as a training camp for Union Illinois troops and was the second largest in the state, after Chicago's Camp Douglas.

Union Brigadier general William T. Tecumseh was sent to Illinois to select a site for the camp and was aided in his effort by Illinois state treasurer William Butler and Secretary of State Ozias Hatch.  This was probably Sherman's first post in the Civil War.  The site was selected for its trees and water as well as being located in the central part of the state with railroad connections.

Training at the camp began August 2, 1861 and during the war, some 200,000 trained there.  Later, it became a prison for 2,000 Confederates captured at battles in the west (including Fort Donelson, Island No. 10 and Arkansas Post.)

As many as 700 Confederates died at Camp Butler, many during an 1862 small pox epidemic.  Altogether, there are 866 Confederate graves there, all with government-issued gravestones.  The Illinois Division of the SCV erected a monument to them several years back.

Right in the Heart of Illinois.  --Old Secesh

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Conversing at the Camp Butler Exhibit-- Part 2

As I said, I will have to go back to take notes about what is there in the future.  I see the Iles House is only open Wednesdays from noon to 4 and Saturdays from 10 to 4.

There were three Union re-enactors at the exhibit.  I spoke with the older one awhile.  He told me he was also a member of the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War (SUVCW) when I told him I was in town as a member of the Sons of Confederate (SCV) Veterans.

So, the sons of former enemies meet at an exhibit honoring both sides of the war.

The Illinois Division of the SCV dedicated a monument several years ago to honor the over 800 Confederates who died and are buried at the national cemetery at teh camp.

I was happy to hear that the membership of the SUVCW had increased and now numbers around 200, more than the SCV.  That is too bad as we were always quite happy to have MORE members than they did even though this is the Land of Lincoln.

If I remember correctly, they also have eight camps in the state as well.  Unfortunately, our membership has been dropping along with our camps.  We now have four active camps here in Illinois.

It's a Son Thing After All these Years.  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Conversing and Looking at the Camp Butler Civil War Exhibit-- Part 1

When I arrived in Springfield, Illinois, this past Friday, I picked up a copy of the weekly Illinois Times and saw that Saturday they were having the grand opening of the Camp Butler: A Civil War Story at the historic Elijah Iles House (Springfild's oldest home).  This is located several blocks south of the Abraham Lincoln home.

I told the others at the Illinois Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans annual meeting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel and headed over to it after the day's meeting was over (and after I stopped at Recycled Records for Record Store Day).

The exhibit is downstairs (very steep) and there were several re-enactors in Union garb as well as people who work and volunteer at the house and visitors.

I looked around.  The walls are covered with a very detailed history/timeline of the camp.  In the middle were various display cases about Civil War medicine, journalism and some people, including one named McElroy who was held prisoner at Andersonville and wrote a book about it and later ran for some sort of office (possibly GAR). 

I will have to go back and take notes about the displays and timeline, but Liz was waiting in the car and I didn't want to take too much time in the place.

I talked with the older re-enactor.

More on That Tomorrow.  --Old Secesh

Today Marks the 200th Anniversary of Stephen Douglas' Birthday-- Part 2

Well, yesterday actually, but I appreciate the Springfield (Il) Journal Register running this in their editorial page as I would surely have missed it.  He did not live long once the war started, but otherwise I'm sure would have had an impact on it.

I did not know that he was the author of the Homestead Act bill which guaranteed 160 acres to any settler who agreed to farm the land.  This caused many people to move west, many of whom were former soldiers during the Civil War.

"Not only was Douglas not bitter about losing the presidency to Lincoln, he in fact toured the country stumping for the Union cause at the outbreak of the Civil War.  It was during this tour that he contracted typhoid fever and died on June 3, 1861."

Definitely a Man Whose Life Needs to Be Commemorated.  --Old Secesh

The Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum provides Abraham Lincoln quotes to the Journal-Register everyday.

From July 22, 1860:  "I know not how to aid you, save in the assurance of mature age, and much severe experience, that you can not fail, if you resolutely determine, that you will not."  Words he stuck with during the war.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Today Marks the 200th Anniversary of the Birth of Stephen Douglas-- Part 1

From the April 13, 2013, Springfield (Il) Journal-Register "Stephen Douglas: patriotism over partisanship" on editorial page.

Even though he was not much involved in the war itself, he definitely had a play in events leading up to it.  Not to mention the Union Army training camp on his land in Chicago which eventually became an infamous Union prison.

Illinois' own "Little Giant," standing at just 5 feet 4 inches, but the man had a booming voice as well as high ideals

Four years ago, there was a huge statewide and even national celebration of Abraham Lincoln's 200th birthday.

But, "If it wasn't for Douglas and their famed debates for the U.S. Senate seat, Lincoln would not have had the national recognition to secure his party's nomination for the presidency in 1860."  His victory led to the Civil War.

Then, Douglas was nominated for president by the Democratic party where his views on allowing citizens of new states to decide whether or not to allow slavery alienated the South and led to their putting up their own candidate, this splitting the Democratic party and assuring Lincoln's victory.

A Man Whose Birthday Should be Noted.  --Old Secesh

Monday, April 22, 2013

Heritage Attacks: No Confederate Flags Allowed


Two Confederate flags were removed from the Hot Springs VA Hospital after some patients complained about them.  They were both in historical displays.  Always the correct thing to do is to change history whenever someone is offended by it, you know.


In Texas, a judge ruled that the Sons of Confederate Veterans could not have Confederate flag vanity plates as they are controversial.

It Just Keeps On.  --Old Secesh

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Getting My Civil War Fill Here in Springfield, Illinois

Spent yesterday doing a lot of Civil War stuff.

All morning and into the afternoon, I was at the Illinois Division Sons of Confederate Veterans annual meeting at the Crowne Plaza Hotel.  That went into the early afternoon and then I went to the Grand Opening of the "Camp Butler:  Civil War Story" exhibit at the Elijah Iles House.  This house is the oldest home in Springfield and the new exhibit is in the basement.

I had a long talk with our counterpart group, the Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War.   Like us, they are having a membership problem and at one time were down to just one camp in the state, but now they are coming back with eight camps and almost 200 members.  At one time we had more SCV members in the state than there were SUV.

A Good Day Here in Springfield.  --Old Secesh

Friday, April 19, 2013

Confederates Coming to Springfield, Illinois

Tomorrow the Illinois Division of the Sons of Confederate Veterans (SCV) of the Army of the Tennessee will be holding its annual meeting in Springfield, Illinois.   (That's right, Abraham Lincoln's home town.) 

Representatives form the eight SCV camps in the state will be there, including myself from the Camp Douglas camp.  Maybe, I'll get reupped for this year.

Business will be held in the morning, followed by a presentation in the afternoon.

Lunch, as they say, will be served.

Afterwards, I plan to hit some nightlife in the city, including Capital City, Lake Springfield Tap, Curve Inn and the Southside Tap.  All of these places are on the original Route 66, another reason for going to Springfield.

Compatriots All.  --Old Secesh

Pennsylvania's Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge-- Part 3

So, the bridge was burned on June 28th.  Confederates had been planning to cross it, but with it gone, they had to change plans and ended up coming together at the small crossroads town of Gettysburg, and the rest is history.

Afterwards, the Columbia Bank and Bridge Company appealed to Congress for reimbursement, but never received any money.  In 1864, they sold the piers and what little remained of the bridge to the Pennsylvania Railroad for $57,000.

A third bridge was begun in 1868 and this one cost $400,000.  It remained in use until a hurricane in 1896 destroyed it.

The fourth bridge at the site was known as the Pennsylvania Railroad Iron Bridge and built in just two months using prefabricated sections.  It was built on those original 27 piers.  By 1928, the Lincoln Highway's vehicular traffic over it got to be a real problem.  Traffic jams were the rule of the day, especially when vehicles had to stop and wait for trains.  It remained open until 1958 when the new Veterans Memorial Bridge was built.

Crossing That bridge When We Come to It.  --Old Secesh

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Pennsylania's Wrightsville-Columbia Bridge-- Part 2

In 1840, the bridge was modified and towpaths were set at different levels so canal boats could cross the Susquehanna Rover between the Pennsylvania Canal on the Columbia side and the Susquehanna and Tidewater Canal on the Wrightsville side.  So, that explains the canal boats.  Two canals were connected by the river.

Sometime after 1846, a double track railroad was built across the bridge linking the Philadelphia and Columbia Railroad and the Northern Central Railway.  Fearing a fire caused by the locomotive (it was a covered bridge after all, rail cars were pulled across the bridge by teams of mules and horses.


The bridge was burned June 28, 1863 to prevent Confederates from crossing over from Wrightsville.  Union forces first attempted to blow it up, but failed.  It was then burned.

More to Come.  --Old Secesh

Pennsylvania's Columbia-Wrightsville Bridge-- Part 1

From Wikipedia

I'd never heard of this bridge or the role it played in causing the Battle of Gettysburg.  In addition, that was one huge bridge for that time or even today.  Actually, the one that was burned war not the first bridge at the site, nor was its replacement the last.

The first bridge over the Susquehanna at that point was begun in 1812, a covered bridge and completed in 1814 (good thing the war did not intrude on that area).  It cost $231,771 and was a mile long, at 5,690 feet, 30 feet wide and tolls were $1.50 for a wagon and six horses.

It was destroyed by ice, high water and severe weather February 5, 1832.

Construction on its replacement began in mid-1832 and was completed in 1834, at the cost of $157,300. (I imagine they used some of the original piers.  This new one was, at 5,620 feet, the world's longest covered bridge, 28 feet wide and held up by 27 piers.  It had a carriage/wagon way, a walking path and two towpaths to guide canal traffic across the river (now, that is a bit confusing, a bridge for canal traffic?)

Tolls were $1 a wagon and 6 cents a pedestrian.

More to Come.  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Burning of the Columbia Bridge (Pa) to be Commemorated

From the April 6, 2013, Lehigh Valley (Pa) Morning Call "Events celebrate burning of key Columboa bridge during Civil War" by Diane W. Stoneback.

The event will be called "Flames Across the Susquehanna"  and will take place from 7-10 PM June 28th, marking the 150th anniversary of the burning of the mile-long covered bridge over the Susquehanna River between Columbia and Wrightsville.

This was a big reason why the Confederates ended up going to Gettysburg as they were stopped from marching north or east.  Instead, they ended up in  Gettysburg and we all know how that turned out.

Starting at 7 PM, ceremonial fires will be lighted one at a time atop each of the remaining 25 piers.  The old bridge site lies alongside the current Veterans Memorial Bridge.

Wonder How Things Would Have Played Out Had the Bridge Not been Burned?  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Heritage Attacks Continue

From the Feb. 14, 2013, Taunton Daily Gazette.

Sixty-seven percent of readers say it is no big deal that Republican state representative Shaunna O'Connell posted  a picture of her wearing a Confederate flag bikini on her Facebook page.

From the Feb. 13, 2013, News 12 Mississippi.

Kenny Wayne Jones is calling for a legislative investigation regarding the Confederate flag found flying over the Mississippi  Supreme Court Building.  The person who hoisted it claims it was done accidentally.  Hey, part of Mississippi's state flag has a Confederate flag on it.

Since When Did It become a Criminal Act  to Wear or Fly a Confederate Flag?  --Old Secesh

Heritage Attacks: They Just Don't Stop

From the July 20, 2010 Sun Sentinel.

The California Racing Commission investigated a Sacramento horse owner after a jockey was able to wear a Confederate flag during a July 15th race at California Expo.

This also is not acceptable under any circumstances.

October 17, 2012, Inquisitor.  In Virginia Beach, Va., a man pulled a gun on elementary students who were disparaging the Confederate flag flying from his truck.  He waved the gun at the students and was arrested.

From February 15, 2013.  The SCV tells the KKK to stay out of Memphis' park controversy.  The KKK wanted to hold a rally downtown but the SCV doesn't want them there, despite the fact that both groups want the name of the parks returned to honor the Confederacy.  The KKK applied for a permit.

It's hard enough to defend the heritage without the KKK jumping in on your side and making things worse.

Old Secesh

Monday, April 15, 2013

Battle of Goldsboro Bridge: NC Civil War Trail

Taken from the Marker by the parking lot of the battle site.

John C Fremont (Union General) left New Bern December 11, 1862, with 10,000 infantry, 640 cavalry and 40 cannons to destroy the Goldsboro Bridge over the Neuse River, a half mile in front of the marker.  The bridge was 3 miles from Goldsboro.  Supplies leaving Wilmington had to cross that bridge.

Foster reached here Dec. 17th after engagements at Kinston and White Hall.  A small Confederate force under generals Gustavus W. Smith, Thomas L. Clingman and Nathan G. Evans defended from the other side of the bridge.  Confederates were pushed away and the bridge was set on fire while Union artillery bombarded it, keeping Confederates from extinguishing the fire.  In the meantime, Union troops began destroying railroad tracks on their side of the river.

Later that afternoon, Foster began his return to New Bern, unaware that the Confederates were preparing a counter attack.  They crossed the opemn field and were repulsed. 

Confederate losses were 150 killed, wounded and missing.  Union fewer than 100.

The bridge was reopened in a few weeks.  Harper's Weekly referred to it as "Skirmish near Goldsboro."

Old Secesh

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Starr's Light Battery: The Pride of Fayetteville, NC

From the March 25, 2012, Fayetteville (NC) Observer "The Civil War 150th Anniversary.

Yesterday and today, I wrote about this unit's service at Fort Fisher in my Running the Blockade Blog.  This is an account from the paper regarding their leaving the city for Confederate service.

MARCH 24, 1862  "Starr's Light Battery goes to Wilmington today on the steamer Hurt at noon.  The company is a picked one, numbering in its ranks many of the best young men of this place who served through the Peninsular Campaign in the two Fayetteville companies of the Bethel regiments.

Col. Starr and his officers are first rate men, all of the same regiment.  The officers and the men are worthy of each other, and wherever they go will do good service."

These are prophetic words considering what they accomplished at Fort Fisher.

The Pride of Fayetteville.  --Old Secesh

Friday, April 12, 2013

Next Time, Get Off I-95 and Take the Averasboro Historic Byway in North Carolina

From the Averasboro Historic Byway brochure.

Get off in Fayetteville and drive northward mostly along US-301, 23 miles to the Civil War Battle of Averasboro site.  You'll see Colonial and Revolutionary War sites as well as a Civil War battlefield and two skirmish sites.  Then you can get back on I-95 at Exit 71.

Support in the Fayetteville, NC, area was strong for the South, but no major engagements took place there until near the end of the war, when, in March 1865, General Sherman's Army came marching and destroying through on their way with a hookup with Grant's Army.

The Left Wing of his army was engaged in a two-day delaying action by a hastily assembled ragtag army of Confederates under the command of General Hardee.  It served as a prelude to the larger Battle of Bentonville.

Worth the Side Trip.  --Old Secesh

Re-enactors at the Battle of Goldsborough Bridge-- Part 2

Tom Flood's 17-year-old son was eating a piece of that real hard hardtack as well, but his younger brother, Ian, was eating on an apple.  Much easier on the teeth.

Matt and his father play the fife, a common instrument in Civil War bands, and one not easy to learn.  They figure it will take at least five years to master.  And, this is a family that's involved.  Many re-enactor groups also contain wives and women who are either dressed as cilivilians or sometimes I've seen them as soldiers.

Dozens of men and women from across the country came to Wayne County for the weekend's re-enactment of the December 17, 1862 Battle of Goldsborough Bridge.

Robert Bernheisel was wearing a Union cavalry uniform and toting a Colt pistol and a Henry repeating rifle and said his "downfall" came back in 1963 when his family went to Gettysburg.  "That was it.  I was hooked on history."  Yep, that centennial back 1961-1965 hooked a lot of us.
For this event, he drove 1,500 miles from his home in Fremont, Nebraska.

A Special Breed.  --Old Secesh

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Re-enactors At the Battle of Goldsborough Bridge-- Part 1

From the Dec. 16, 2012, Goldsboro (NC) News-Argus "Re-enactors honor history's fallen soldiers, pass down memories" by Kenneth Fine.

Some say I'm TOO much of a Civil War buff.  Besides a room full of books and these two time-consuming Civil War blogs.  But, hey, I can't get enough of it.  But, if you really want to say Civil War buff, you say re-enactor.  Now these guys (and gals) take it to the extreme.

Re-enactors Tom and Matt Flood were two of the many re-enactors who showed up to re-enact the Battle of Goldsborough Bridge last December. Both played their fifes (for the Union).  Tom, the father, crunched down on a piece of hardtack, "and after a few seconds  of chewing, manages to swallow it."  Not only does one dress  the part, one lives the part, although many have modern day accoutrement's hidden in their uniforms.  It seemed to see General Robert E. Lee at a re-enactment in Lake Villa, Illinois, talking on his cell phone.

The cracker-like snack was a staple of soldiers back then.  They were there Saturday to help commemorate the battle.  "We could go over to the hot dog stand, but we wanted to stay in period.  But really, how did they eat they eat the stuff?"

I've looked at hardtack which is usually sold by sutlers at re-enactments, but feared for my teeth (they don't call it HARDtack for nothing.

Going Back...Way Back.  --Old Secesh

Battle of Goldsborough Bridge 150th Anniversary-- Part 5: Restoring the Field

The withdrawing Union forces had no idea that two North Carolina regiments were forming to attack them.  The 51st and 52nd NC regiments came streaming out of the treeline to an open field.  As they came, they gave the famed rebel yell, alerting the Federals.

According to Randy Sauls, "They were mowed down at that point.  That's where most of the casualties of the in this battle occurred."

Sauls made his first trip to the site in the 1990s, when it was a horse farm.  The site was in bad shape, "but had been left alone.  It had not been developed, but it hadn't been lost either."  With county government approval and the group he founded, Sauls began working to restore the battlefield.  And, they have admirably succeeded.

I went out to it, but was the only one there and didn't go beyond the visitors' parking lot.  You never know who you might run into there and I mean people of a bad sort.

According to Sauls: "It is particularly interesting to be  out here by yourself--  to be in the woods walking the trail out there-- and when it's quiet, you kind of catch the moment a little bit."  he says that every once in awhile, a train even comes down the track, which really sets the scene.

"You know, the Battle of Goldsborough Bridge, it was a wonderful tactical success for the Union, but strategically, it ended up having very little value...because Fredericksburg was a disaster.."

A Little-Known Battle getting Its Due.  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

The Battle of Goldsborough Bridge 150th Anniversary-- Part 4

Randy Sauls continued:"There would be a lot of concussion.  It would be very, very loud.  There would be a whole lot of smoke on the battlefield and you would hear musket fire from the other side of the railroad, and where we are standing now, you would see the 17th Massachusetts Infantry Regiment just along the tree line here fighting their way up."

By early afternoon, Union forces were close to their target.  By 2:00, two Union regiments were jut a few yards from the bridge.  Foster ordered his artillery up and started pounding away at the Confederates on the other side of the river.

Six or seven men run forward and set fire to the bridge.  The fighting continued for a short time and then got quiet as Foster's men started tearing up railroad tracks.  By 4:30, they were leaving the field with their goal accomplished.

But, the Battle Wasn't Yet Over.  --Old Secesh

Tuesday, April 9, 2013

The Battle of Goldsborough Bridge 150th Anniversary-- Part 3

The Union two-pronged attack didn't work out as planned.  Fredericksburg was a disaster for Burnside.  Foster's men, though, did not know what had transpired in Virginia (hard to believe with the telegraph).

They had already encountered enemy at Kinston and Whitehall (where they endangered the Confederate ironclad Neuse which was under construction.

Confederate commanders hastily scraped together a much smaller force to keep the Union troops from destroying the bridge: 8th, 51st, 52nd and 61st North Carolina infantry regiments.

December 17, 1862 dawned an unusually warm winter day in the South.  One hundred and fifty years later, it was about the same for the re-enactment.  Randy Sauls said the New England soldiers much have felt this day to be completely different from what they were used to back home.

From about 10-11 AM, there was a huge artillery bombardment at the bridge.  Sauls continued, "You would see shells going through the air and they have a fuse as they're burning so you would see a little streak of light."

Getting Hot Out There.  --Old Secesh

The Battle of Goldsborough Bridge 150th Anniversary-- Part 2

The Union troops had begun their march six days earlier from New Bern.  These were not the hardened veterans who later came through North Carolina under General Sherman in 1865.  For many this was their first test in the field against enemy troops.  A fair number were nine month volunteers from Massachusetts,Rhode Island, Connecticut, New Jersey and New York.

Randy Sauls, a local historian and founder of the Goldsborough Bridge Battlefield Association (thanks Mr. Sauls), said their journey had been "grueling.  We know that every night of the march....the men's water in their canteens froze.  And we know they didn't have tents."

Sleeping outside in NC in December is not my idea of fun, especially during a cold snap.

This battle (or skirmish as it has been called, even though it would have been a huge battle during the War of 1812) was a part of the Fredericksburg Campaign, whose battle had taken place just four days earlier.  It was part of a two-pronged Union attempt to end the war.  Plans called for Foster to march from New Bern and destroy the bridge, stopping Confederate supplies coming from Wilmington on the Wilmington and Weldon Railroad (at one time the longest railroad in the United States.

While this was happening, Union General Burnside would attack Lee's Army at Fredericksburg and, with its superior numbers, win a stunning victory.  With no replacement supplies, Lee would have to abandon Richmond and the war would be over.

Sometimes, the Best Laid Plans....  --Old Secesh

Monday, April 8, 2013

The Battle of Goldsborough Bridge, 150th Anniversary-- Part 1

From the Dec. 16, 2012, Goldsboro (NC) News-Argus "A battle comes to life--150 years later" by Kenneth Fine.  And a big thanks to Mom for saving the article for me.

"On December 17, 1862, Union and Confederate troops clashed at the Battle of Goldsborough Bridge.  This weekend, re-enactors are on those same fields."

And what makes the re-enactment even more impressive, it was held on the exact land where the original one was fought.  You are not allowed to have re-enactments on federal battlefields.

Goldsborough was the original name of the town, since shortened to Goldsboro.  During the Civil War, it was referred by both ways.

"It has been 150 years since some 15,000 men fought on an 600-acre tract of farmland--along river banks and across a vast ridge, next to a strategic bridge that, by day's end, was broken and burned."

The bridge crossed the Neuse River and carried the vital Wilmington and Weldon Railroad over it.  This provided the supplies coming to lee's Army in Virginia.

I Sure Would Have Liked to Have Been There.  --Old Secesh

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Monument to Union Soldiers Dedicated at Bentonville, NC

From the March 17, 2013, UPI "N.C. dedicates monument to Union soldiers."

Four Oaks, NC. site of the Battle of Bentonville.  The Sons of Union Veterans of the Civil War dedicated the $10,000 monument in a ceremony Saturday at the Bentonville Battlefield State Historic Site.

The battle was fought at the end of the war from March 19-21, 1865, as a last ditch effort by Confederate troops to stop Union General Sherman's onslaught across the state to hook up with Grant's Army of the Potomac.

This is all good and proper that the monument be dedicated on the battlefield.  However, I have to wonder if it had been the Sons of Confederate Veterans dedicating a monument to Confederate soldiers if this would have been allowed because of the opposition of one particular group.

Several years back, an SCV monument to Confederate General Johnston who led the forces was not allowed on the site because of that group and its opposition to any and all things Confederate.

Let's Be Fair.

Friday, April 5, 2013

Honey Springs Has National Significance: "The Gettysburg of the West"-- Part 2

The battle was fought along the Muskogee and McIntosh county line, pitting 3,000 Federals versus 5,700 Confederates under Gen. Douglas Cooper.  The majority of the troops on the Confederate side were Indians while the Union Army consisted mostly of Indians and blacks.

The First Kansas Colored unit played a key role at the center of the Union line.

Cooper's troops withdrew to Fort Washita, Bogey Depot and Red River, opening Indian Territory to Union control.

A Key Battle Few Have Heard Of.  --Old Secesh

Honey Springs Has National Significance: "The Gettysburg of the West"-- Part 1

From the March 16, 2013, Muskogee (Ok) Phoenix by Jonita Mullins.

This little-known engagement (I think I first heard about it in conjunction with Route 66 Civil War history) turned Indian Territory from a Confederate stronghold into a Union one.  The site was recently named a National Historic Landmark.

Honey Springs is located on Texas Road, about 25 miles south of Fort Gibson.  Confederate Fort Davis was across the river from Fort Gibson and the Confederates also set up a supply depot at Honey Springs.

When Union commander James Blunt found out his foe was building up for an attack, he decided to strike first.  His force crossed the Arkansas River by flatboats and marched south on Texas Road.  The two sides clashed July 17, 1863 in what has been called the "Gettysburg of the West."

More to Come.  --Old Secesh

Heritage Attacks: Tee Shirts-- Memphis

And they just continue.  It sure would be nice to have a truce.  Something along you commemorate your heritage and I won't interfere and you let me do the same.  But, that one group has essentially declared war on mine.

And, there is one group I definitely do now want to stand up for mine as it gets that other group madder than wasps whose nest has been stirred.

1.  TEE SHIRTS--  From the 3-25-13, Charleston (SC) Post and Courier--   The South Carolina Latta School District's decision to bar students from wearing tee shirts featuring Confederate flags has been upheld by a federal appellate court.  This is really made sadder when considered that this is a supposedly Southern school district.

3. MEMPHIS--   From the 3-20 Guardian--  The KKK is to rally in Memphis to protest the back-door changing of the names of Confederate parks.  While I appreciate support, this is one group that must not be allowed to support the flag and name.  That just makes our cause harder to defend.

Old Secesh

Thursday, April 4, 2013

"Civil War Voices": The Story-- Part 2

"The combination of the compelling true stories, beautiful music, and the passion of the times delivers an emotional 'wallop' that is hard to describe unless experienced.  Typical words used by audience members to describe the show include 'goose bump raising,' 'stirring,' and 'inspirational.'

The five characters represent a cross section  of America.  Joe Harris was a cotton planter from Alabama with a conflicted conscience about the war.  The discovery of the existence of his diary inspired the play.

Elizabeth Keckley was born a slave , bought her freedom, and became Mary Todd Lincoln's closest friend and personal assistant in the White House.

Theo and Harriet were a young, married couple from Texas, who were separated by the war.  Joshua Lawrence Chamberlain was a college professor from Maine, who enlisted to fight for the Union.

The play follows the lives of five characters as the Civil War progresses.  Theo Perry's wife gives birth to a son a few months after he leaves to fight in the war.  Joshua Chamberlain changes his opinion about why the war is being fought."

The changes in the characters during the war is one striking part of the play.

Well Worth Seeing If You get the Opportunity.  --Old Secesh

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

"Civil War Voices": The Story

From the "Civil War Voices" site.

This play has been put on in several different towns as I found out at the site.  This should be filmed and school students should see it to afford a very fair and deep view of the war.  Using primary sources as it does is just what state standards push for these days.

"Civil War voices tells the compelling and passionate true stories of five individuals who lived through the conflict, using the actual words the characters left behind in diaries, letters, and other writings. 

All new arrangements of traditional melodies of the period by renowned composer Mark Hayes advance the narrative and sharpen the emotional impact of the stories.  As the nation prepares for the 150th anniversary of the outbreak of the Civil War in 2011, Civil War Voices is prepared to be a key entertainment component of events across America."

I had never heard of it and sure glad I had an opportunity to see it.  Quite an experience.

Old Secesh

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

"Civil War Voices": Captain Theophilus Perry

Company F of the 28th Texas, Perry's company, had Phil Brown as its original captain and Perry was the 1st lieutenant.  The commander of the regiment was Col. H. Randall.

Old Secesh